Last week I wrote about how a happy employee is an engaged employee (and vice versa) and while some may disagree with the statement, I think we can all agree that one thing that makes employees happy is the opportunity to advance. However, according to CareerBuilder, ”only 37 percent of companies in the U.S. and Canada stated that their employees understand how they can shape their careers in their given role. Additionally, only 44 percent of companies report that their employees are actually able to obtain the career advancement opportunities they desire.” That percentage should be alarming to employers because it means that a large portion of their workforce is essentially an untapped resource. In light of this finding, we’d like to offer you some great ideas for nurturing your internal talent pool.
1. Make Advancement Opportunities Clear
According to CareerBuilder, “only one third of companies that partook in the survey reported defining vertical career paths for their employees.” With the other two thirds of the employer population leaving career paths open or nebulous employees are left drifting or stuck in their current role and after a few years that typically translates to starting a new job search.
Do yourself a favor and define career tracks for main disciplines in your business. For example, at an advertising agency, Account Coordinators typically get promoted from that position to a Junior Account Manager role and ultimately reach the Senior Account Manager level with time and determination. Knowledge of this career path will motivate your employees to work harder and stay with your company. In addition, these career paths may inspire your employees to be more vocal about their workplace desires.
*Pro-tip: Writing these career paths out and putting them into a visual display will help existing employees understand their path and as a bonus you can use the graphic to show potential employees what possibilities exist for them within your company.
2. Ask Leading Interview and Annual Review Questions
The person you hire for role A probably eventually will want to move into role B. Make sure to ask them what their ultimate goals are. Some employees are happy to stay within a role they are comfortable with, but others are interested in getting their foot in the door, doing their time and going in a particular direction. Knowing this will help you make them happy in the long-term sense.
3. Consider a Training Program
Many successful companies have attracted passionate employees by instituting training or coaching programs. For instance, Dartmouth-Hitchcock routinely offers Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) training opportunities where they select individuals who want “to start or further [their] career in healthcare.” This training program provides them with new hires and provides those new hires with opportunities they may not otherwise have been able to afford based purely on their potential and drive. These sort of advancement opportunities inspire hope and loyalty in potential and existing employees.
4. Take Feedback Seriously
Employee feedback is a free resource that allows you to gauge how you are doing as a company. If you provide opportunities for current employees to give feedback such as annual review surveys, employer evaluations, and options to rate training then you will be able to understand what is working and what isn’t with your programs. Collecting the feedback and noticing patterns will help you make better policies and make employees feel like you care about them. Feeling valued and recognized as an employee is a major concern. Per Gallup’s blog the, “latest analysis, which includes more than 10,000 business units and more than 30 industries, has found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise:
- increase their individual productivity
- increase engagement among their colleagues
- are more likely to stay with their organization
- receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers
- have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.”
Therefore, listening to employees will ultimately benefit your strategy and help you retain your internal talent.
Internal recruiting from a solid talent pool is easier, quicker and will help you save recruitment dollars. Just look at the numbers:
- According to Everest College it take outside employees 5 weeks or more to be comfortable in a nee position.
- As early as 2012, studies such as Matthew Bidewell’s stated that, it costs on average of 18-20% more to hire externally.
- In addition, Bidwell’s study concluded that external candidates, “also receive unsatisfactory reviews on performance evaluations for around their first two years with a new company.”
Of course there is always a balance that needs to be struck between external and internal recruiting, but make sure not to discount the gems that are already in your vault. Internal candidates are diamonds in the rough!
Are you interested in promoting career paths visually? Then consider building a microsite to house information for internal and external candidates. If you already have a recruitment microsite, consider cleaning it up in time for the new season with out free tool.